This seems like a sensible policy, but how is it going to be enforced? Will it be on the honor system, or will there be spot checks of the odometers? "Monitored very closely" could mean almost anything and usually begins to slip after awhile:
Beginning in early August, officers who live in Fort Wayne will pay $25 each pay period if they use their take-home cruisers for personal reasons while off duty. Officers who live outside Fort Wayne will pay $30. The fees will not apply to officers who drive take-home cruisers for police use only.
“We're asking officers who use their vehicles other than back and forth to work to help offset the cost of gas,” said Police Chief Rusty York. “We're going to get every officer a copy of this new policy so everybody understands what the changes are, and it's going to be monitored very closely.”
When the take-home cars are used for personal business, they stop being just "crime prevention" and start becoming a job perk. And even if we buy the argument that having the cars parked in neighborhoods deters crime, Councilman Hines is right that the argument is meaningless for the 20 to 25 percent of the 460 officers who live outside Fort Wayne. Why should city taxpayers help subsidize the safety of outlying areas that are mostly pretty safe to begin with?
UPDATE: Here's a letter from the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association that I found on the Indiana NewsCenter site. It gives some pretty good arguments in favor of the take-home policy.